Gdańsk lead by virtue of having played and won all three of their season’s fixtures. On Saturday they took their third straight victory, this time at home against Bydgoszcz by 50:40 with Wiktor Kulakov (in photo with Tarnow from 2020) dropping just one point with 14. The Russian now leads the league with an impressive 2.800 average. The visitors again were led by Frenchman, David Bellego, who is perhaps showing the best form of his life, with 13 pts giving him a 2.455 p/h so far this season.
On Saturday Ostrow finally got to complete their first match of the season in a home tie against Krosno. It turned into a thriller as the home team set off at a fierce pace with three 5:1 in the first 5 heats to lead by 10 points after Heat 7. Young Dane, Patrick Hansen again made his mark by finishing with the most points in the team with 9+3.
But after half way, the visitors remembered that they were here to win a race, not just make up the numbers. They mounted a stunning comeback with new signings Andre Lebedevs and Tobiasz Musielak leading the way. And it was this pairing that gained a 1:5 in heats 13 and 15, the Latvian winning both the heats that ultimately would decide the match, as the guests stole in 44:46 in that final heat.
Heat 11 would be the difference between the two teams in a close fought fight as home team Łódź won 45:43 ending Rybnik’s unbeaten run.
Rybnik lead from the very first heat but were never more that four points ahead and when the days top two riders met in Heat 10 and Michael Jepsen Jensen (RYB, 12+1) beat Brady Kurtz (LOD, 12+1), the visitors only lead by one point, 29:30.
But even though they would take a heat advantage in Heat 12, the home pairing of Marcin Nowak and Kurtz took a 5:1 in Heat 11 ultimately deciding the match as Łódź edged it 45:43 – the unusual score occurring after two heats involving juniors both finished with just two riders.
It was a case of good things come to those who wait for Gniezno who finally started their season more than three weeks after the first match in eWinner 1.
They travelled to Tarnow who started with Sweden’s Kim Nilsson again replacing the injured Niels-Kristian Iversen at #1. And whilst Nilsson took 2 pts in the opening heat, it was the visitors who took 4 pts with Miroslaw Jablonski taking the chequered flag first for the visitors with Peter Kildemand in third.
Gniezno never let up that lead, but it was two 1:5 victories in a row in Heats 5 and 6 that was to be the difference between the teams. Jablonski (7+1) and Kildemand (10+1) were again involved, although both actually came second in their respective heats. In Heat 5 it was Timo Lahti (9+2) who took three points ahead of the 36 yrs old Pole, whilst in Heat 6 it was Frederik Jakobsen (8) that took points ahead of his 31 yrs old Danish compatriot.
For Tarnow it was the fourth loss in a row placing them firmly at the bottom of the table. And that despite having league’s 15th best rider in Rohan Tungate who scored 13+1 on Monday night. But with the final score being 42:48, that can at least take consolation in that it was the smallest margin of defeat this year. However, they are missing Iversen and desperately need another rider to join Tungate in scoring more than 2.000 per match.
FOREIGN RIDER SCORES*
Tungate TAR 13+1
Kurtz LOD 12+1
Jepsen Jensen RYB 12+1
Kildemand GNI 10+1
P Hansen OST 9+3
R Jensen GDA 9
Jakobsen GNI 8
Klindt OST 7+1
Nilsson TAR 7
Becker LOD 6+1
Lyager BYD 6
Berntzon OST 5
Woentin TAR 4+1
McGuinness BYD 0
*(DEN, SWE, AUS, USA)